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Women of the Hall

Year Honored: 1998
Birth: 1896 - Death: 1957
Born In: , Czech Republic
Died In: Missouri, United States of America
Achievements: Science
Educated In:
Schools Attended: Realgymnasium at Tetschen, German University of Prague
Worked In: New York, Missouri

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Gerty Theresa Radnitz Cori

Gerty Theresa Radnitz Cori, a pioneer in biochemistry, received international recognition for discovering, along with her husband, Carl, how glucose is converted into glycogen, a process dubbed the Cori Cycle. Her research had a profound effect on the treatment of diabetes, allowing physicians to understand how the body stores glucose by converting it into glycogen stored energy, which can be used when the body's reserves run low. In 1947, she and her husband, along with Bernardo A. Houssay, received the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine for this discovery. Cori's later studies on enzymes and hormones further advanced research in the treatment of diabetes and contributed to our understanding that missing enzymes indicate defective genes. This laid the foundation for future studies of genetic defects in humans. Cori received her M.D. at the German University of Prague in 1920 and came to the United States in the 1920s. Despite her significant research, she had to fight discrimination and nepotism rules. Finally, in 1947, the same year she became the first American woman and the third worldwide to receive a Nobel Prize in the sciences, she was named a full professor of biochemistry at Washington University in St. Louis. In 1950, President Harry Truman appointed her to the Board of Directors of the National Science Foundation.
Additional Sources:

Rossiter, Margaret. Women Scientists in America 1940-1972. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins, 1995.

Edited by: Helen M. Pycior, Nancy G. Slack, and Pnina G. Abir-Am. Creative Couples in the Sciences. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, c1996. NOTES: ""Lives of Women in Science"" series. Includes bibliographical references (p. [289]-347) and index.

Brody, Seymour. Jewish Heroes and Heroines of America: 150 true stories of American Jewish Heroism. Hollywood, Florida: LifetimeBooks, Inc., 1996.

Bernard Becker Medical Library, Archives, Washington University. St.Louis, Missouri. Has:

a. Collected Reprints, 1921-1933 (articles originally published in different sources).
b. Papers 1911-1973, 1.0 linear ft., in German.
c. Papers 1919-1984, 13 linear ft.